TEHRAN, Aug 20: An informed source in the Iranian Foreign Ministry confirms reports of the reopening of UK embassy in Tehran.
The source said on Thursday that the reopening will take place during a visit by UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to Tehran on Sunday.
The reopening of the embassy is seen as the biggest shift in the West’s policies toward Iran following the nuclear conclusion between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – on July 14.
Hammond will be Britain’s first top diplomat to visit the Iranian capital in nearly 14 years. He will reportedly be accompanied on his trip by a number of business leaders.
According to the British media, the Iranian embassy in London will be reopened at the same time. The reports say a new British ambassador has already been chosen but not announced officially.
Iran and Britain severed their diplomatic ties in November 2011. The British embassy was closed after hundreds of Iranian university students staged a protest, pulling down the UK flag and demanding the expulsion of the British ambassador.
Following the incident, Britain announced not only the withdrawal of its diplomatic staff from Tehran but also the closer of the Iranian embassy in London.
In October 2013, Iran and Britain agreed to appoint non-resident chargés d’affaires as a first step toward resuming diplomatic ties.